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to look beyond washington politics. suzanne pratt reports. >> reporter: yes, there will be life for the u.s. stock market after the fiscal cliff. it may not seem so today, as stock investors ran for the exits even faster than washington lawmakers left town for the holidays. but, somehow, someway, sometime there will be a deal between congress and white house. and, once that happens equity investors will need to refocus. >> once we get into the new year, i think we're going to get right back into earnings season again. and, once again earnings season is what happened last quarter and what do we think is going to happen in the quarters moving forward. >> reporter: as far as what happened in the quarter that ends for most companies on new year's eve, the answer isn't good. according to standard and poor's, wall street analysts predict big u.s. firms only saw a 3% increase in profits in the fourth quarter. on october 1, they were far more optimistic, forecasting a close to 10% gain. so what happened to all that earnings optimism earnings? it turns out it evaporated, as the u.s. economy starte
in a slew of firms opting for one-time payouts. suzanne pratt reports on what's behind these investor pay-days. >> reporter: costco is doing it. brown forman-- the maker of jack daniels and finlandia is also doing it. today, even whole foods is finding it appetizing. they've all announced special dividends, eager to reward their shareholders with a nice check before expected tax increases happen next year. >> current law says that qualified dividend income tax rates are at 15%. and, if no legislation is passed between now and then end of the year, those rates would go up to as high as 43.4%. >> companies just want to pass along these dividends. it's a thank you to shareholders. it sparks interest in their stock. >> reporter: according to s&p, this month alone 216 companies have declared special dividends. last november only 72 firms decided to make similar payouts. this is not the first time u.s. companies have been so generous. exactly two year ago, there was a significant pickup in the number of u.s. companies declaring special dividends. the threat of higher tax rates for dividends wa
companies have made similar moves in the last month. suzanne pratt reports on whether special dividends are the best use of corporate cash. >> reporter: $1.7 trillion. that's the cash u.s. companies have on their balance sheets. all that hoarding is a sign of the times: nervous companies stockpiling for an economic downturn or whatever else might happen. still, n.y.u. professor april klein says companies are over doing it. >> i know they say you can never be too rich or too thin, but companies can in fact be too rich. and, sometimes you do want to shrink out the cash. >> reporter: that's because too much cash can make a company a takeover target. and, with interest rates so low, all that money is just not productive. special dividends are one option for corporate treasurers struggling to spend it. but, what happened to firms investing capital for the future, by hiring new workers, buying other businesses, or on research and development? experts say we won't see that until lawmakers get their act together. >> right now corporate managers are essentially holding their cash waiting for gre
fast. suzanne pratt reports. >> reporter: four days after its debut, most of the much-hyped collaboration is still available at this target in edgewater, new jersey. there are gifts for your four- legged friends, and plenty of bar accessories for your partying pals, including shot glasses and cocktail shakers. there's even green transportation by alice and olivia. gone ithis funky sweatshirt, although you can still get it online. almost gone are these brian atwood gloves at $50 a pair. and only a handful of carolina herrera notebooks are left. 24 designers created products ranging from $8 to $500 a piece. many of the designers are not household names, but a deal with target gives them mass market exposure. clearly, target and neiman marcus are hoping the partnerhip will put some sizzle into their holiday sales. >> i think it's done well, it's set up well. it's beautiful everything here. it's different. >> reporter: target is no stranger to other designer hook- ups, many of whose pieces normally sell for steep price tags at high-end department stores. don't forget the w
news from citi the beginning of other companies doing the same? suzanne pratt reports. >> reporter: 11,000 jobs are a lot of layoffs, even for a bank as huge as citi. and there could be more. that's because the monster firm is still struggling to recover from the great recession even though it has fired a lot of other workers in the last few years. the thing is, citi has a new c.e.o. in michael corbat, and experts say he's anxious to make his mark, even if that includes cutting staff. and the need to slim down is not ique to citi; it's indtry- wide. a financial industry runs into huge problems. it happened in the '30s, and it happened in the last five years. when you go through these periods, you go through a lot of change. that industry is now trying to figure out what is the right size of the industry. >> reporter: still, economists say citi's action today is not the start of a new wave of mass layoffs across corporate america. the nation's job market may not be robust, but it's not frozen, either. in fact, today, the payroll firm a.d.p. reported 118,000 new private sector jobs were
in september. suzanne pratt reports. rtses. >> reporter: a peak inside this manhattan apple store and it looks like everything is a-okay. plenty of customer, plenty of purchases. so why has the shine come off apple's shares? with a-- in a word, actually two, profit-taking. >> i think the biggest reason for the selling going back to when it was priced $700 in september is pure profit-taking. if you look from the beginning year to september, the stock was up 74%. so i think you had some natural profit-taking. >> reporter: but this isn't ode year-end selling by institutions looking to record nice numbers. this supposedly is fiscal cliff related selling as shareholders worries that capital gains tax rates will be higher next year. >> still, financial planner sharon appleman says selling stock solely for tax reasons isn't the best idea. >> i definitely think it's a legitimate concern and can be an opportunity. and i would say if somebody was interested in reducing a physician any-- position anyway, that can certainly be a great time to do it, you know, why pay higher taxes in a few months time when
the fiscal cliff is coming soon. suzanne pratt reports. >> reporter: the tree is up on wall and broad, and so is the u.s. stock market. the holiday season typically is a good time for stocks. in fact, since 1950, december has been the best month of the year for the s&p 500 with the index gaining an average of 1.7%. this december is off to a good start, even though the fiscal cliff looms large over trading floors. most investors remain optimistic there will be a deal in washington before santa arrives. but floor broker teddy weisberg isn't sure where all the optimism is coming from. >> it's a real dilemma here because a lot of folks that i talk to, and customers and professionals alike, are very, very nervous. and i think they are perplexed by the lack of weakness in the market, if you will. >> reporter: economists say no deal between lawmakers and the white house by new year's could push the u.s. into recession by early next year. that dire prediction should be bad news for stocks, but investors remain unfazed. experts say stocks are more likely to move in a tight trading range in the next fe
direction of price. suzanne pratt reports, the outlook for bonds next year depends a lot on what happens washington this year. >> reporter: less than 2%-- that's what the benchmark ten- year treasury bond pays today. even with record low yields, investors have continued to buy bonds in a big way. everyone from the chinese government to american retirees hold u.s. treasuries. and the federal reserve continues to promise rates will remain low, at least for the next few years. so what does that mean for bond investors, especially as worries about a bond bubble grow? >> i know those people have been warning about a bond bubble for quite a few years. but the fact is, we just haven't seen it. the fed has made quite clear that if inflation expectations were to get out of control, or even if we got even close to it, the fed would do something about it. >> reporter: don't forget, inflation is the bond market's nemesis because it erodes the value of bonds. and there's concern all the money the u.s. central bank pumped into the financial system in recent years will drive up prices. and then there a
street, if we go over the cliff? suzanne pratt reports. >> reporter: one thing is for sure, wall street can count. that means investors know there are just nine trading days left until tax hikes automatically take effect across the nation, and hit americans where it hurts: their wallets. and, investors are also aware there are even fewer days before lawmakers are scheduled to leave on holiday break. despite the ticking clock, many investors remain optimistic there will be a deal between congress and the white house before the ball drops in time square. veteran trader jonathan corpina agrees there will soon be a resolution, but he thinks the news will be a big ho-hum for stocks. >> i think the sentiment of a deal solution is already priced into our market right now. so, what does that really mean. when we get news that a deal is in place or partially in place will we get a huge upswing in the market. i don't think so, i think it's already been priced in. >> reporter: other market pros are less sanguine about an agreement in the next few days. even with signs of progress in washington tod
. suzanne pratt reports. >> reporter: could it possibly be that consumers are souring on apple's iconic iphone? an unscientific survey on the streets of manhattan suggests it's not so. the iphone still looks to be the smartphone of choice. but other evidence tells a different story, namely that sasung's galaxy s3 is making major inroads. cnet editors have just released their annual lineup of this year's best tech products. you guessed it-- the samsung phone with its big screen took the top spot. >> for a long time, the iphone was really the principle flagship smartphone out there. android phones were catching up very quickly. but this year, we finally have one or two models, especially that samsung galaxy s3, that are just as good if not better to some people. >> reporter: consumers also like morola's droid razor maxx and lg's optimus phones. but some reviewers say apple did it to itself, annoying users with its proprietary connector, problematic map software, and the iphone's somewhat petite screen. and it's not just the iphone that's losing some of its sweetness with users. in the table
, as suzanne pratt reports, some investors like the sound of an independent g.m. >> reporter: ilooks like general motors may soon be hitting the road all by itself. four years after spending nearly $50 billion to rescue the struggling automaker, the u.s. treasury wants out. and, gm needed to shake off the stigma of being known as government motors. >> general motors to wanted do this. they wanted to get the government off its back so to speak and to prove to the people they can pay back the loan, part of the loan. >> reporter: other auto experts says everyone involved wanted to end this year on a positive news note. >> it helps the folks at gm and the government end the year on a high note and send us into 2013 with a positive wind at our sails. >> reporter: what's not very positive is that taxpayers stand to lose billions of dollars on the g.m. bailout. in fact, if treasury sold all of its remaining shares today, it would mean a net loss of nearly $13 billion, or about a quarter of the government's total investment. for its part, treasury argued today the gm bailout saved a million jobs
and homes. suzanne pratt met with the man behind the tastes, mccormick's top chef, and got a close-up "smell". >> reporter: here's how american's spiced up their cooking in the past, a lot of salt, a dash of pepper and easy on the garlic. but, u.s. palates are expanding, and now include everything from smoked paprika to dukkah. that's right dukkah, what mccormick executive chef kevan vetter thinks will be a big hit with american tastebuds in the next few years. >> the dukkah is a spice blend made up of toasted nuts and toasted spices, very rich and savory. it's got a very rich texture aspect to it combination. the trend here that we're talking about is empowered eating. people are trying to be more thoughtful about what they're eating and make better choices. you know dukkah is a great example of something that could translate into the world of snacks, so making a dukkah flavored snack cracker. you may not see broccoli attached to that, exactly, exactly. but dukkah is an example of a great flavor that could move into the other world of food away from a restaurant or a sprinkling on. that's a
Search Results 0 to 49 of about 58 (some duplicates have been removed)